this has been on the to-do list for a while…
Up and over Mt Sopris with an UpSki…
In the above picture: starting in the bottom right corner, ascending the back side to the left summit, then descending to the bottom left corner
not much else to say other than awesome! 10 miles start to finish, >6,000′ of ascent to summit, ski Sopris!
Winds were gnarly, ie ascending 1000 ft in minutes. I look forward to taking a second lap on it… with a little more snow cover & a little less wind
I was hoping for winds up to 40mph… but in reality, summit winds were more in the 60-100mph range… thus staying ~400ft below the summit with the UpSki was prudent. The final push to the summit (over rocks & snow) was skinning.
As a quick summary: start at avalanche creek 6700′
climb (approach shoes) to ~10,500′, put on ski boots and bootpack/skin to 11,000′
UpSki to ~12,5000, below west summit descend and traverse east to UpSki ascend back to ~12,500 below East summit.
Skin to East summit (winds + exposed rock = to dangerous for UpSki)
Ski-descent standard route to Thomas Lakes & trailhead.
The dry-ground ascent from avalanche creek is actually a cakewalk… if you do it right. clean 3rd class scrambling the whole way. little or no loose rock. Do it wrong, and you’ll find 10′ deep mud-slide channels, sketchy loose rock, and other things that could kill you.
We’ve got great conditions yet to come this season. May will be good!… but clock is ticking, time to pack for Alaska ASAP!